Prospect in the Spotlight (Apr 3-4): Yusuf Raisov

Introduction

Saturday, April 3rd, Russian featherweight/lightweight prospect Yusuf Raisov will be in action for Absolute Championship Akhmat, where he will be fighting opposite Herdeson Batista. He will be looking to continue his current winning streak, as Raisov looks to get closer to an eventual UFC contract. He represents Berkut FC, a respected camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Submission Wrestling: Color me shocked, but a Grozny, Russia native who has excellent wrestling and submission ability. Get out of town! All joking aside, Raisov is beyond capable on the mat. He is very powerful on the takedown and is very rarely denied. He’s strength is underrated and when he combines it with his speed, it’s tough to defend his shot. When he gets the fight to the mat, he suffocates opponents and tends to get to a position to finish quickly. His chokes are nasty. When he gets a hold of an opponent’s neck, he tries to pop their head off their shoulders. He also has good ground-and-pound, though he mostly uses it to open up submission finishes.

Aggression: It’s rare that you will ever see Raisov take a step back or give his opponent time to breathe in his bouts. He’s constantly moving forward and making his opponent uncomfortable. Raisov is most dangerous when he has his opponents on his heels. On the mat, he isn’t looking to ride out a decision. Raisov loves looking to finish the fight while on top. That’s not only crowd pleasing, but it’s the most sure way to stop a judge from taking a win away from you. The fans love this guy’s style and the UFC brass should take notice, if they haven’t already.

Needs Improvement

“In-Between” Weight: Raisov has fought at both featherweight and lightweight. It appears that Raisov has to cut a lot to make 145 and is not a huge 155er when he does fight there. If that’s the biggest knock on Raisov I can find (it is right now), than that is a good thing. Because despite being a drained 145er or a midsized 155er, he’s still a lot to deal with at either weight class. The guy is well-rounded and rugged, which is why he’s one of my top prospects in the world overall at any weight class.

Outlook

UFC Top-15: To date, Raisov’s strength of schedule has been very impressive. In that tough schedule, he’s lost just once, a fight he later gained revenge on by tapping out Marat Balaev. Raisov is just 24 years old and has proven himself against high-level talent. He has yet to even reach his prime yet and he’s this good? The UFC should count themselves in on that account. Should Raisov get past Batista here, which he certainly should, the UFC should be sending him a contract immediately. Depending on whether he wants to fight at 145 or 155, it won’t matter; the guy will be a ranked fighter in no time.

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